China’s crude oil imports to exceed 400 million tonnes this year: Sinopec executive

26 Jul 2017   China

China’s crude oil imports will exceed 400 million tonnes this year, said an executive at a Chinese state oil giant on Tuesday, as continuing low oil prices and declining domestic output sparked increased overseas purchases. China’s crude imports are also expected to grow by double digits in 2018, Zhang Haichao, vice president of Sinopec Group, told Reuters on the sidelines of an industry conference in Beijing on Tuesday. Zhang’s estimates mean Chinese demand for imported crude would grow by around 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) this year, which would likely make China the world’s largest crude oil importer on an annual basis for the first time ever. For the first six months of 2017, China imported 212 million tonnes of crude, or 8.55 million bpd, up nearly 14 percent from the same period in 2016, according to customs data. [O/CHINA1] China’s crude oil imports have grown […]

China’s Diesel, Gasoline Exports Surge to Ease Domestic Glut

24 Jul 2017   China

China’s diesel and gasoline exports surged in the first half of the year as a domestic supply glut and slowing demand growth prompted refiners to sell more fuel abroad.  Diesel shipments jumped almost 21 percent in the first six months compared to the same period a year ago, averaging about 328,500 barrels a day, according to Bloomberg calculations based on data posted Sunday on the website of the General Administration of Customs. Gasoline exports rose 8.1 percent, averaging nearly 222,000 barrels a day.  China’s state-run fuel makers have sent more fuel overseas to draw down stockpiles that have swollen thanks to a refining capacity glut and higher production from independent refiners, known generally as teapots. Meanwhile, the nation’s gasoline and diesel demand growth has been slowed by alternative transportation such as shared bicycles, as well as gas-fed vehicles and electric cars, according to ICIS China, a Shanghai-based commodity researcher.  “Alternative transportation has taken a notable toll on consumption of traditional fuels this year,” Lin Jiaxin, an analyst with ICIS China, said before the data were released. “With new refining units coming online in the second half of the year, refiners will have to ship even more overseas.”

Volvo Accelerates Toward Electric Future With China’s Geely

Volvo Car Corp., the Swedish auto maker, and its Chinese parent Zhejiang Geely Holdings on Thursday unveiled plans for wide-ranging collaboration to develop new technology that aims to accelerate Volvo’s transformation into an all-electric auto brand and fuel Geely’s global ambitions. Volvo and Geely Holdings have signed an agreement to create a joint technology venture with headquarters in China that expands their current…

China drafts new rules for oil storage industry

19 Jul 2017   China

Beijing on Wednesday issued a draft of new regulations for China’s growing oil and fuel storage industry, helping loosen the state-owned oil majors’ grip on the sector as the nation pushes to reform its vast energy markets. The government is looking to update storage policies issued in 2006, consolidating regulations for crude oil and rules for oil products under a single framework. The main change in the draft is that it removes requirements for distributors and storage companies to have secure and steady supplies of refined products, a condition that only state majors like Sinopec and China National Petroleum Corp could comply with. Although the clause will still exist for crude. “(The draft) has lowered the threshold for entry to the wholesale and storage industry,” said Dong Xiucheng, a professor at the China Petroleum University. “The new draft emphasizes storage capacity first … As long as […]

China Economic Expansion Exceeds Estimates on Factory Rebound – Bloomberg

19 Jul 2017   China

China’s economy maintained its momentum last quarter, as global trade and domestic demand spurred a pickup at the nation’s factories.

Key Points

  • Gross domestic product increased 6.9 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier, compared with a 6.8 percent median estimate in a Bloomberg survey, matching the pace of expansion in the first quarter
  • Industrial output rose 7.6 percent in June from a year earlier, compared with an estimated 6.5 percent increase
  • Fixed-asset investment climbed 8.6 percent in the first half of this year, versus a median forecast of 8.5 percent gain
  • Retail sales jumped 11 percent from a year earlier in June, compared with a median estimate of 10.6 percent in a Bloomberg survey

North Korea fuel prices surge after China cuts oil sales

17 Jul 2017   China, North Korea

Gasoline and diesel prices surged in North Korea in the weeks after a Chinese state oil company suspended fuel sales to the reclusive state, according to data reviewed by Reuters and an interview with a North Korean defector. China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), a state-controlled company, halted diesel and gasoline sales to North Korea “over the last month or two”, amid international pressure on Pyongyang to curb its nuclear and missile programs, Reuters exclusively reported on June 28. Scrutiny of China’s commercial ties with its isolated neighbor intensified further following North Korea’s first test of an intercontinental ballistic missile two weeks ago. The price of gasoline sold by private dealers in Pyongyang and the northern border cities of Sinuiju and Hyesan jumped to $2.18 per kg ($2.92 per liter) as of July 5, up 50 percent from $1.46 per kg on June 21, according to Reuters […]

China June oil refinery throughput close to record

17 Jul 2017   China

China’s oil refineries ramped up throughput in June to the second highest on record, with some independent plants raising output even as state oil majors prepare to take drastic steps to cut production during the peak summer season. Throughput last month reached 46.08 million tonnes, or 11.21 million barrels per day (bpd), a 2.3-percent rise year-on-year and up from May’s 10.98 million bpd, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed on Monday. That was just shy of December’s record volume of 11.26 million bpd. The higher throughput came after another month of strong crude oil imports and as top refineries prepared to cut output in the third quarter. “Refinery runs were impressive considering that refinery maintenance was still heavy,” said Nevyn Nah, analyst at Energy Aspects. Independent refiners, known as ‘teapots’, raised their runs after receiving additional crude import quotas, while oil majors kept […]

China GDP growth beats Beijing target

17 Jul 2017   China

China’s economy expanded at an annual rate of 6.9 per cent in the second quarter, beating the government’s target in a year of political transition as unexpected strength in the property market kept growth humming. With 6.9 per cent growth in the first and second quarters, the Chinese economy is on track for its first year-on-year acceleration since 2010. Growth in gross domestic product was 6.7 per cent last year. In March China’s rubber-stamp parliament approved a full-year growth target of “around 6.5 per cent”. “As China goes, so go emerging markets. Its solid growth reinforces recoveries for commodity exporters and keeps 2017’s pick-up in global growth on track,” Bill Adams, senior international economist at PNC Bank, wrote on Monday. “The retreat of US long-term interest rates since early 2017 and the Fed’s commitment to a gradual pace of interest rate hikes are maintaining supportive monetary conditions for emerging market growth.” In the medium term, however, risks from rising debt and overcapacity in large swaths of the manufacturing sector still loom over the economy. The strong property sector was crucial to the first half’s strong growth, but many experts worry that the market is in a bubble, especially in large cities.

China’s June coal output up 11% on year at 308.35 mil mtChina’s June coal output up 11% on year at 308.35 mil mt

17 Jul 2017   China

China mined 308.35 million mt of crude coal in June, up 10.6% year on year, National Bureau of Statistics data released Monday showed. Over January-June, it mined 1,712.63 million mt of crude coal, up 5% year on year, the data showed. “After two consecutive months of weak coal production, June production surpassed 300 million mt as the government urged domestic mines to ramp up production in the face of strong demand and crackdown on low-rank coal imports,” Citi analysts said in a note. China in June imposed a partial embargo on cargoes of imported thermal coal at about nine ports on its eastern and southern coasts. Article continues below… Platts Coal Trader International is the only daily publication where you can access Platts proprietary price assessments for coal trading in the Atlantic and Pacific markets, including FOB Newcastle 5,500 NAR; CFR South China 5,500 NAR; and FOB Kalimantan 5,900 […]

China Reports 14% Increase In H1 Crude Oil Imports

14 Jul 2017   China

Chinese customs data has revealed that the world’s second-largest consumer of crude oil imported 8.55 million barrels of oil daily during the first half of the year, or 212 million tons in total – a 13.8-percent annual increase. In May alone, Chinese refiners imported 37.2 million tons of crude, or 273 million barrels. This was up 15.4 percent from May 2016, and the second-highest monthly import rate ever. The growth in imports comes on the back of higher refinery runs after a maintenance period, as well as dwindling local crude production. In May, Chinese refineries processed 46.62 million tons (342 million barrels) of crude oil, up 5.4 percent on the year, while domestic production fell by 3.7 percent to 16.26 million tons (119 million barrels). The U.S. is the latest addition in the group of exporters of crude to China, with shipments over the first five months of the […]

China crude oil imports hold at strong levels in June

13 Jul 2017   China

China imported 36.11 million tonnes, or 8.79 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil in June, customs data showed on Thursday, again making the country the world’s top buyer for the month. June imports were up 17.9 percent from a year earlier, according to Reuters calculations, although shipments dipped 2.9 percent from May’s figure, which was the second-highest on record. Strong demand is being driven by low oil prices and growth in sports utility vehicle sales, said Neil Beveridge, a senior analyst with Sanford C. Bernstein in Hong Kong. Appetite for imports is also being stoked by declining domestic output. Imports compared with average shipments to the United States in June of 7.94 million bpd, according to Reuters calculations based on weekly U.S. data. For the first six months of 2017, China shipped in 212 million tonnes of crude, or 8.55 million barrels per day […]

China’s June coal imports fall 3% on year to 21.6 million mt

13 Jul 2017   China, Coal

China imported 21.6 million mt of coal in June, including lignite, thermal and metallurgical material, down 2.66% from May and a marginal 0.68% lower year on year, according to preliminary data released Thursday by the General Administration of Customs. China imported 22.19 million mt of coal in May this year. In June 2016, the country imported 21.75 million mt of coal. “Total coal imports weakened slightly by 2.7% month on month and 0.7% year on year as crackdown on low-rank thermal coal imports may have kept Indonesian volumes away,” Citi analysts said in a note. The analysts said they expected Chinese custom controls over low-rank thermal coal to put pressure on July and August volumes too. Article continues below… Platts Coal Trader International is the only daily publication where you can access Platts proprietary price assessments for coal trading in the Atlantic and Pacific markets, including FOB Newcastle 5,500 […]

China wraps up combustible ice mining trial, setting world records

China on Sunday completed a 60-day trial of mining gas hydrates, commonly known as combustible ice, in the South China Sea, marking breakthroughs in human’s search for alternative clean energy sources. Started from May 10, the mining operation in waters near the Pearl River estuary has beaten previous expectations and set world records in both the length and total amount of extraction, according to the China Geological Survey Bureau. The trial exploration produced over 300,000 cubic meters of gas – mainly methane, with an average daily extraction of more than 5,000 cubic meters of high purity gas, and a highest daily output of 35,000 cubic meters, said the bureau. Meanwhile, 6.47 million sets of experimental data were recorded. China declared its first success in collecting samples of combustible ice in the South China Sea on May 18, which usually exists in seabed or tundra […]

In drastic move, China’s top hydropower plants slash capacity

10 Jul 2017   China, Hydro

The Three Gorges and Gezhouba, two of China’s top hydropower plants, have closed capacity by as much as two-thirds, state media said on Tuesday, as torrential rains across the south triggered drastic steps to ease pressure on the Yangtze River. Days of heavy rainfall have pushed water levels in more than 60 rivers in southern China above warning levels. Floods have damaged crops, forced hundreds of thousands from their homes and killed at least 33, while the north has wilted in a heat wave and drought-like conditions. The Three Gorges dam is the world’s biggest power station by far, with an installed generation capacity of 22,500 megawatts (MW), equivalent to about 20 coal-fired stations. The two power stations in Hubei province have stopped 26 generators, due to flood pressure in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River, Asia’s longest river, the state-run Xinhua News Agency said, citing […]

Gazprom confident of $400bn Chinese gas supply

6 Jul 2017   China, Russia

Snaking across the forests, swamps and permafrost of eastern Siberia, Gazprom’s 3,000km-long pipeline is inching its way to the Chinese border to seal a $400bn gas pact that will bind together the world’s largest energy exporter and consumer.  The Power of Siberia gas pipeline, the first to connect Russia and China, will start pumping in December 2019, Gazprom said on Tuesday, paving the way for a 30-year supply agreement of more than 1.15tn cubic metres of gas for the Kremlin-controlled export monopoly.  “Gazprom, like our Chinese partners, is carrying the project out strictly on schedule, and I can even say ahead of schedule,” says chief executive Alexei Miller. “An agreement was signed today between Gazprom and [China National Petroleum Corporation] on the date to start supplying gas along the Power of Siberia pipeline. This is December 20 2019.”  Mr Miller’s affirmation is important. The project, which will cost Gazprom more than $55bn just to build the necessary infrastructure to get the gas flowing, is one of the most critical investments for Russia’s energy sector, which has targeted a long-term strategic supply link with China to match its market penetration in Europe.  “It is hugely important for both. For Gazprom, it basically opens up a huge, rapidly growing market. And more importantly, it allows them to monetise gasfields that otherwise would be left untouched,” says Kateryna Filippenko, senior research analyst at energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie. “For China, it provides stable, relatively cheap supply in the long term.”  Exports accounted for three-quarters of Gazprom’s revenues from gas sales last year, as the company ramped up output to offset a slide in prices. Gazprom supplies about a third of Europe’s gas, and plans new pipelines across the Baltic and Black seas to help defend that market share. But Power of Siberia gives it access to a vast new market. It is forecast to account for more than 12 per cent of a Chinese gas market that Mr Miller expects to reach 300bn cubic metres in the next few years.

Unexpected Move From China Boosts Coal Prices

5 Jul 2017   China, Coal

That’s because of a critical and unexpected policy change that came down over the weekend. With the world’s biggest coal-consuming nation shutting down over 150 import points for supply. The place is China. Where the government decreed that coal imports will no longer be allowed at smaller ports across the country, according to state newspaper China Securities Times. The new import ban reportedly affects at least 150 small ports across the country. Which have, up until now, been major points of entry for coal supply. Many of those small facilities are in fact owned by coastal power plants, which use them to bring in coal supply for generation. With these ports having lower loading fees than first-tier facilities — by up to $1 per tonne of imported coal. And the ban is happening right now. Authorities said that coal imports at smaller ports will be stopped as of July […]

Gazprom to start gas supplies to China via Siberia in December 2019

5 Jul 2017   China, Russia

Russia’s largest natural gas producer Gazprom will start supplying fuel to China through Siberia on Dec. 20, 2019, Gazprom Chief Executive Alexei Miller told reporters on Tuesday, after a meeting with China National Petroleum Company (CNPC). CNPC chairman Wang Yulin and Gazprom’s Miller met during this week’s visit to Moscow by President Xi Jinping and signed a China-Russia supplementary purchase and sale contract, the state-owned Chinese company said on its website on Wednesday. It did not provide further details. The deal is the latest sign that Russia is tightening its ties with China, a major gas buyer. It comes at a time of turmoil for rival major exporter Qatar amid a dispute with its Gulf neighbors who have imposed political and economic sanctions on Doha. The new […]

The Song of ‘Fire Ice’: China Claims Revolution in Energy Extraction

As China celebrates its success in extracting natural gas from ‘fire ice’, it’s still unclear whether Beijing has made a significant technological achievement and revolutionized the energy industry. Seeking Energy Security, China, Japan Race to Tap ‘Fire Ice’ Earlier China proudly announced that the country for the first time managed to successfully extract natural gas from methane hydrate deposits located in South China Sea near the delta of the Zhujiang river, and that the amount of extracted natural gas has exceeded all expectations.But while Beijing hailed this accomplishment as a historic breakthrough that ushers a new era in the energy industry, many prominent analysts around the globe regarded the celebration as premature. Igor Yushkov, lead analyst at the National Energy Security Fund, told Sputnik that China’s achievement can be compared to the new technologies developed in the US which made the shale gas extraction economically viable. “And here’s the […]

South China floods kill 15, thousands evacuated

3 Jul 2017   China

Floods in southern China have killed at least 15 people over the past few days and forced the evacuation of tens of thousands more, state media said. In Guangxi region, seven died and three were missing following torrential rains, with more than 23,000 people being evacuated to safer areas, the Xinhua news agency said late on Sunday. In neighboring Hunan province, more than 300,000 people have been evacuated and eight people have died, the agency said. More rain is forecast in coming days, according to the China Meteorological Administration. Floods kill dozens of people every year in China during the summer rainy season. (Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

Gazprom touts progress of Chinese gas pipeline

1 Jul 2017   China, Pipelines, Russia

Russian gas monopoly Gazprom chief Alexei Miller says he expects imminent development on a natural gas pipeline bound for the Chinese economy. File photo by Anatoli Zhdanov/UPI June 30 (UPI) — Russian natural gas company Gazprom expects to sign off on developments to increase its footprint in the Asian market, the company’s top executive said. “Today we’re finalizing the discussion of the exact schedule for the launch of supplies via the ‘eastern route’ in compliance with the contract,” Gazprom Chief Executive Alexei Miller was quoted by Russian news agency Tass as saying. “The plan is to sign the relevant document in nearest days.” The eastern route refers to the so-called Power of Siberia natural gas pipeline. Gazprom has a 30-year sales agreement with China National Petroleum Corp. that calls for 1.3 trillion cubic feet of natural gas per year through the pipeline. Russian President Vladimir Putin described the 2,500-mile […]

China Banks On Natural Gas As Oil Production Tanks

30 Jun 2017   China

Imports and domestic output of natural gas are outpacing government projections in China as the country works toward a goal of making the fuel 10 percent of its energy consumption by 2020. Official data for domestic production and imports shows that the total amount of natural gas available in China in the first five months of the year was approximately 72.0 million tons, up 5.9 percent for the same time frame last year. The increases are more than double the annual rate needed in order for China to increase natural gas’ share of energy consumption from its current 5.9 percent to 10 percent by the end of the decade, Imports and output of natural gas rose more than twice the expected amount this year in China Imports and domestic output of natural gas are outpacing government projections in China as the country works toward a goal of making the […]

How sustainable is China’s future energy demand?

29 Jun 2017   China

A new report by S&P Global’s China Senior Analyst Group*, entitled “ China’s Sustainable Energy Future Depends on Efficiency, Economic Transition, And Renewables — Not Slower GDP Growth ” finds that China will need to take a radically different path of energy consumption from what developed nations currently follow in order to avoid a spiking oil import bill. Eight years ago China overtook the US to become the world’s largest market for new vehicle sales, and by the end of this year is set to once again overtake the US to become the world’s largest importer of oil. However, what is not immediately apparent from these headlines is how modest China’s oil demand actually is on a per capita basis, as the chart below demonstrates, with Chinese per capita GDP on the X axis (in real 2010 US dollars) and per capita oil demand on the Y axis. Historically […]

Great recession fears as bankers warn next global crash could arrive ‘with a vengeance’

27 Jun 2017   China, Economy

Central bankers have voiced fears about the Chinese economy as corporate debt rises faster than GDP A new financial crisis is brewing in the emerging economies and it could hit “with a vengeance”, an influential group of central bankers has warned. Emerging markets such as China are showing the same signs that their economies are overheating as the US and the UK demonstrated before the financial crisis of 2007-08, according to the annual report of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). Claudio Borio, the head of the BIS monetary and economic department, said a new recession could come “with a vengeance” and “the end may come to resemble more closely a financial boom gone wrong”. The BIS, which is sometimes known as the central bank for central banks and counts Bank of England Governor Mark Carney among its members, warned of trouble ahead for the world economy. It predicted […]

China’s new high-speed train debuts on Beijing-Shanghai route

27 Jun 2017   China

China’s next generation bullet train “Fuxing” debuted on the Beijing-Shanghai line on Monday. A CR400AF model departed Beijing South Railway Station at 11:05 a.m. for Shanghai. At the same time, the CR400BF model left Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station for Beijing. The new bullet trains, also known as electric multiple units (EMU), boast top speeds of 400 kilometers an hour and a consistent speed of 350 kilometers an hour. (Xinhua/Ju Huanzong) BEIJING, June 26 (Xinhua) — China’s next generation bullet train “Fuxing” debuted on the Beijing-Shanghai line on Monday. A CR400AF model departed Beijing South Railway Station at 11:05 a.m. for Shanghai. At the same time, the CR400BF model left Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station for Beijing. The new bullet trains, also known as electric multiple units (EMU),boast […]

China Aims For Market Share In African Refining Sector

23 Jun 2017   Africa, China

On 22 March 2017, Sinopec agreed a deal to buy out Chevron’s downstream businesses in South Africa and Botswana, in China’s first major investment into the downstream oil industry in Africa. Although China already has an extensive footprint in Africa, the majority of these operations have been confined to the upstream sector – in oil and gas exploration. China has been steadily expanding its upstream operations outside China since the late 1990’s, through its three main state-controlled oil companies : CNPC, Sinopec and CNOOC, in an attempt to meet the country’s growing oil demand. Over the past several decades, China’s oil demand has risen drastically, driven by continued economic growth, an expanding middle class and a growing demand for consumer goods. China is now the world’s second-largest oil consumer, but due to a steady drop in domestic production – thanks to high production costs, a deterioration in mature oilfields, […]

Xi Jinping Is Set for a Big Gamble With China’s Carbon Trading Market

23 Jun 2017   China, Climate

BEIJING — As other countries look to China to take the lead in fighting global warming after President Trump’s rejection of the Paris climate agreement , President Xi Jinping is pushing ahead with an ambitious plan to build the world’s largest market for carbon emissions permits. The start of a national carbon trading market in China by late this year has been years in the making, but is now shaping up as Mr. Xi’s big policy retort to Mr. Trump’s decision to quit the Paris accord. The Chinese government said in a greenhouse gas policy guide released on Wednesday that the 2017 start was on track. “Carbon trading on a national scale will send a signal to the world that China is serious about this,” said Wang Yi , a professor at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing who also belongs to the national legislature and advises the […]

Looming Chinese refinery cuts to hit oil demand

22 Jun 2017   China

 Some of China’s top oil refineries are having to take the highly unusual step of cutting operations during what is typically the peak demand summer season when hot weather drives up power usage and families take to the road during school holidays. Almost 10 percent of China’s refining capacity is set to be shut down during the third quarter, signaling that demand growth from the world’s top crude importer is stuttering further. West African and European suppliers are already feeling the chill from China’s reduced demand, and a global glut has dragged spot prices for crude this week to their lowest since November, 2016. Major Chinese oil refineries, including PetroChina’s Jinzhou will set their run rates around 6,500 […]

China Issues Second Batch Of Oil Import Quotas For 2017

20 Jun 2017   China

China has allowed a second batch of crude oil import quotas for independent refiners and some state-held companies for 2017, setting full-year quotas at a total of 91.73 million tons, or 1.83 million bpd, according to a document by China’s Ministry of Commerce obtained by Reuters . In January this year, China issued the first batch of quotas for non-state refiners, which totaled 68.81 million tons , refining sources told Reuters back then. As many as 29 companies, including independent refiners—the so-called teapots—and trading firms, were granted quotas, the refining sources noted, quoting an official document by the Chinese authorities. Late last year, China’s Ministry of Commerce had said that the quota for non-state refiners would be kept at 87.6 million tons, or 1.75 million bpd this year, flat compared to 2016. Now the second batch of the 2017 import quotas is set at 22.92 million tons, and included […]

GAC Motor targeting 1M unit sales by 2020, 20% new energy vehicles; entering US market by 2019; transition to electric “may be quite long”

20 Jun 2017   China, Electric Cars

GAC Motor was one of the few automakers, and the only Chinese auto brand, to take the main stage at last week’s Michelin Movin’On 2017 global sustainable mobility summit in Montreal. During his talk, Yu Jun, president of GAC Motor, said that his rapidly growing company is targeting sales of 1 million units annually by 2020, with 20% of those being new energy vehicles. Yu said that GAC plans to introduce seven new energy vehicle models—including both electric and hybrid plug-in designs—to the market this year. GAC has already established its first North America R&D Center in Silicon Valley, and plans to to enter the US market no later than 2019. As the fastest growing Chinese automaker, GAC Motor has achieved 85% compound annual growth rate for six consecutive years. In the first five months of 2017, GAC Motor has already blown past previous records with 207,000 cars sold, […]

Tesla Said Close to Agreeing on Plan for China Production

20 Jun 2017   China, Electric Cars

Local plant would allow automaker to bypass 25% import tariff Tesla’s China revenue tripled to more than $1 billion in 2016 Tesla Inc. is close to an agreement to produce vehicles in China for the first time, giving the electric-car maker better access to the world’s largest auto market, according to people familiar with the matter. The agreement with the city of Shanghai would allow Tesla to build facilities in its Lingang development zone and could come as soon as this week, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the negotiations are private. Details are being finalized and the timing of the announcement could change. Tesla would need to set up a joint venture with at least one local partner under existing rules and it isn’t immediately clear who that would be. Representatives for Tesla at the company’s headquarters in Palo Alto, California, didn’t immediately respond […]

Is China Inflating Its EV Sales?

16 Jun 2017   China

While China is being applauded as the world’s leading market for battery electric and plug-in hybrid vehicle sales, automakers are becoming frustrated over how to actually carry out a profitable long-term strategy for that market. A new draft proposal , posted this week on the website of the Legislative Affairs Office for China’s cabinet, mandates automakers to sell a high level of plug-in electrified vehicles (called “new energy vehicles” in China). That would equate to each automaker building credits equivalent to 8 percent of sales by 2018, 10 percent by 2019, and 12 percent by 2020. Sales figures report that more than 28 million new vehicles were sold in China last year. About 351,000 were new energy vehicles, making for only 1.25 percent of the total. Holding onto these high-level clashes with a compromise between Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and German Chancellor Angela Merkel made earlier this month. China […]

China’s Crude Oil Output Lowest Since 2011

15 Jun 2017   China

According to the statistics figures, as reported by Reuters , China’s crude output level was 3.83 million bpd in May, down by 3.7 percent year on year, to the lowest domestic production volume since the statistics office started publishing records in 2011. “ Declining output this year comes as China’s major oil fields Daqing and Shengli announced production cuts at the beginning of the year. The pace of decline in production will ease this year due to higher crude prices ,” Gao Jian, a crude oil analyst with China Sublime Information Group, told Reuters. Late last year, PetroChina said that it planned to cut capital spending at China’s largest oilfield Daqing by 20 percent in 2017. Last month, China’s refinery runs jumped by 5.4 percent on the year to 10.98 million bpd, and although they were down from a record level from March this year, throughput marked the highest […]

Chinese oil imports up more than 10 percent

9 Jun 2017   China

Crude oil deliveries to China on the rise and means the second-largest economy in the world is the top crude oil importer. Photo by Pepj/Shutterstock June 8 (UPI) — Customs data published Thursday from the Chinese government revealed the country is the largest importer of crude oil in the world. The General Administration of Customs reported that both imports and exports increased in China in May. Chinese exports were up 15.5 percent year-on-year, while imports into the second-largest economy in the world were up 22.1 percent, an increase from the gain of 18.6 percent in April. For the first five months of the year, data show Chinese crude oil imports were up 13.1 percent year-on-year, making China the world’s largest oil importer. The data, published Thursday by China’s official Xinhua News Agency, followed a report from Dutch commodity trader Trafigura that oil and petroleum product sales were up 25 […]

China’s Crude Demand Soars As Maintenance Season Comes To An End

9 Jun 2017   China

Thanks to a 13 percent surge in crude imports (as refiners prepare for maintenance season), China’s trade surplus hit its highest since Jan (though -4 percent YoY). Imports (+14.8 percent YoY) and Exports (+8.7 percent YoY) both beat expectations. China’s overseas shipments accelerated in May from a year earlier, as Bloomberg suggests global demand shows signs of picking up. (Click to enlarge) Exports rose 8.7 percent in May in dollar terms, the customs administration said Thursday. Imports increased 14.8 percent, leaving a trade surplus of $40.81 billion dollars. (In yuan terms, exports rose 15.5 percent and imports surged 22.1 percent, bringing the trade balance to 281.6 billion yuan.) A brighter international outlook may provide support to the world’s largest trading nation, with the World Trade Organization saying it expects trade to “expand moderately” in the second quarter. Still, after a robust start to the year, the domestic economy is […]

China’s coal imports in May rise 17% on year to 22.19 million mt

9 Jun 2017   China

China imported 22.19 million mt of coal — including lignite, thermal and metallurgical coal — in May, down 10.45% from the 24.78 million mt imported in April but up 16.61% from the 19.03 million mt in May last year, according to preliminary figures released Thursday by the General Administration of Customs. Imports over January-May rose 29.6% year on year to 111.68 million mt. “The rising total coal imports momentum [was] sustained in May, though weakened 10.5% on a month-on-month basis,” Citi analysts said in a note. “Strong year-on-year imports were thanks to continued restocking demand at mines, ports and mills and positive coking coal import arbitrages since April.” China exported 1.31 million mt of coal in May, up 84.51% year on year, the GAC data showed. Article continues below… Platts Coal Trader International is the only daily publication where you can access Platts proprietary price assessments for coal trading […]

Canada’s Oil Sands Open Up To Chinese Investment

9 Jun 2017   China, Tar Sands

Canada is inviting Chinese companies to invest in its oil sands, Canada’s Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr said on Thursday, after an exodus in the past few months saw international oil majors selling a total of US$23 billion worth of assets to domestic producers. Speaking at a conference call to reporters during his trip to China, Carr said “We think there are opportunities and we laid out, along with experts from industry, what we believe to be opportunities for them,” as quoted by Reuters. “We would welcome investment from any nation that’s interested in the oil sands,” the minister noted, without giving details of what kind of Chinese investment Canada would see as welcome. The government is interested in discussing proposals case by case, he said. Chinese firms, including PetroChina, CNOOC, and Sinopec had invested in Canada’s oil sands industry between 2005 and 2012. But now, with the price […]

China ‘teapot’ oil group urges compliance on quotas, tax

6 Jun 2017   China

An alliance of more than 20 of China’s independent oil refineries has urged its members to strictly adhere to government rules on oil quotas and taxes, according to a group statement seen by Reuters on Tuesday. The mostly privately run refineries, known as “teapots”, have upended China’s oil market after Beijing began allowing them to import crude in late 2015 in an effort to shake up a market dominated by state-owned majors. However, state firms like Sinopec and PetroChina have repeatedly accused the independents of undercutting their larger rivals by evading or under-paying consumption taxes for gasoline and diesel. Beijing in 2016 dispatched inspection teams to oversee the teapots’ tax records. The independents are also facing shifting government policies on oil quotas at a time when domestic oil demand […]

China will continue with climate pact even if US pulls out

1 Jun 2017   China, Climate

China said Thursday that it will work with the European Union to uphold the international agreement on climate change even if the U.S. pulls out. President Donald Trump is expected to announce his decision on whether to abandon the Paris climate accord Thursday afternoon U.S. time (3 p.m. EDT; 1900 GMT). While not mentioning the U.S. by name, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters that climate change is a “global challenge” that no country can ignore. “No matter whether other countries’ positions may change, we will continue to uphold” a model of sustainable development, Hua said at a regularly scheduled news conference. China is the top emitter of man-made carbon dioxide emissions, and the United States is second. Both were key to reaching an agreement at Paris in 2015, which came into force in November and aims to keep global warming below 2 degrees […]

Not OPEC, China Dictates The Oil Prices

29 May 2017   China, Prices

The OPEC deal will lead to an ongoing tightening of the crude oil market, putting a floor beneath crude prices in the $50s per barrel in the second half of 2017, according to Helima Croft of RBC Capital Markets. She said that prices should ultimately “grind higher into the $60s” by the fourth quarter, with an average price for WTI expected at $61. Political and economic pressure surrounding Saudi Aramco’s IPO and Russian elections – both of which are slated for 2018 – will ensure that OPEC and non-OPEC does “whatever it takes” to keep oil prices stable and on the rise. But there are a lot of factors outside of OPEC’s control. High up on that list is the role of China, a country that has received little attention in the oil world as of late amid all the furor over the OPEC vs. U.S. shale debate. But […]

Is China Liberalizing Its Oil And Gas Industry At The Right Time?

29 May 2017   China

Foreign oil companies will soon be able to invest in China’s upstream sector through joint ventures with the country’s three major fossil fuel companies, according to a new manifesto by the Central Committee of the ruling Communist Party. The guidelines lay the groundwork for the liberalization of the Asian country’s energy production game, similar to the initiative spearheaded by Mexican President Enrique Nieto in 2014, which opened the nation’s fossil fuel industry to the world for the first time in nearly eight decades. Unfortunately for Mexico, just weeks after the country became open for business with foreign companies, oil prices crashed for the first time. Investment in oil exploration and extraction shrunk drastically as the industry’s biggest players published multibillion sales of owned assets. New funding for oil and gas has been hard to come by since the fall. Last year, global investment in upstream activities fell 23 percent […]

Analysis: China’s gasoil exports to rebound as Beijing hands out new quotas

29 May 2017   China

China’s gasoil exports fell sharply in April from the previous month’s record high, as a cocktail of lower stocks and reduced output at home prompted refiners to keep more barrels for local use, but market participants expect outflows to rebound in May on the back of new quotas. China’s April gasoil exports fell 35.7% month on month to 1.23 million mt, easing from a record high of 1.91 million mt in March, according to General Administration of Customs data released Wednesday. “Exports have returned to a more normal level — a level we normally see when domestic output goes down,” said an analyst in Beijing. Article continues below… 33rd Annual Asia Pacific Petroleum Conference (APPEC 2017) September 25 to 27, 2017 | Raffles City Convention Centre, Singapore As the most prestigious event in the Asia Pacific oil and gas industry calendar, APPEC 2017 delivers three days of market-driven discussions […]

Exclusive: IEA to review oil demand outlook after China, India signal auto policy shifts

The International Energy Agency will review its electric vehicle (EV) use and oil demand forecasts after India and China recently signaled new policies in favor of electric cars and vehicles using other alternatives to gasoline. In its current policies scenario, last updated in November 2016, the IEA expects vehicle demand for oil to rise until 2040. But after the world’s two fastest growing oil markets, China and India, indicated they are likely to take radical turns away from gasoline, the IEA says it will need to review its forecasts. “We will therefore revisit our analysis of future EV market penetration on the basis of these new announcements for the next World Energy Outlook 2017, to be released on 14 November,” an IEA spokesman told Reuters. In […]

China to toughen efforts in cutting excess capacity

11 May 2017   China

China will carry on phasing out sub-standard production capacity, especially in fields of steel and iron, coal-mining and coal-fired power plants, to keep up with targets set for the year. The decision was made at a State Council executive meeting, which was presided over by Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday. Li listened to reports on the latest progress of this year’s campaign to cut excess capacities of steel, iron, coal-mining and coal-fueled power generation, as well as the findings of inspections over the drive in concrete and glass sectors. Li said reforms offer the way forward in cutting overcapacity, which is a vital part of the supply-side structural reform. “China takes the initiative to reduce production capacity based on its own national conditions. The efforts are to make the growth model and economic structure shift to new economic drivers,” he added. The government work […]

China Crude Oil Imports Ease From Record as Teapots Slow Buying

9 May 2017   China

Independent refiners bought 21% less oil month-on-month: ICIS April imports at 8.4 million b/d down 8.8% from March record China’s oil imports dropped from a record as purchases by the country’s independent refiners were seen slowing. Buying by China, which overtook the U.S. during the first quarter as the world’s biggest importer, averaged 8.4 million barrels a day in April, down 8.8 percent from a record the previous month, according to Bloomberg calculations based on data Monday from the General Administration of Customs. Net exports of oil products fell almost 49 percent from March to 1.01 million tons. Imports have accelerated this year as China’s state energy giants pump less crude after last year’s price crash forced them to cut spending on the country’s mature, high-cost fields. The import decline from a record in March was due to seasonal refining maintenance picking up and independent processors, known as teapots, […]

DOE: China alone accounted for 42% of global plug-in vehicle sales in 2016

About 756,000 plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) were sold in the world in 2016, with 95% of those sales in China, Europe, the United States, Japan, and Canada, according to figures compiled by the US Department of Energy (DOE). China alone accounted for 42% of sales (316,800 units). China’s 2016 PEV sales grew by 53% from 2015’s 207,000 units—most of which were all-electric vehicles (EV) (244,400 units, or 77%). PHEV sales reached 72,400 units in 2016 in China. By comparison, US PHEV sales in 2016 were 72,900 units, slightly outpacing China; however, US battery-electric vehicles sales were only 86,700. All of the European countries combined had 11% PEV sales growth from 2015 to 2016 (209,300 units), with an EV share of 44% (91,300 units). The United States PEV market grew by 40% during the same time frame, with over half (54%) of sales being EV in 2016. Japan’s PEV market […]

China Crude Oil Imports Ease From Record as Teapots Slow Buying

8 May 2017   China

Independent refiners bought 21% less oil month-on-month: ICIS April imports at 8.4 million b/d down 8.8% from March record China’s oil imports dropped from a record as purchases by the country’s independent refiners were seen slowing. Buying by China, which overtook the U.S. during the first quarter as the world’s biggest importer, averaged 8.4 million barrels a day in April, down 8.8 percent from a record the previous month, according to Bloomberg calculations based on data Monday from the General Administration of Customs. Net exports of oil products fell almost 49 percent from March to 1.01 million tons. Imports have accelerated this year as China’s state energy giants pump less crude after last year’s price crash forced them to cut spending on the country’s mature, high-cost fields. The import decline from a record in March was due to seasonal refining maintenance picking up and independent processors, known as teapots, […]

Oil Traders Idled as China Refiners Fall Foul of Smog Fight

3 May 2017   China

Private refiners denied fuel export quotas so far this year Government seen reining in processors to combat pollution: EA A little over a year ago, China’s fast-growing private fuel makers were the newly minted stars of the global oil market, importing crude from the world’s biggest producers and seeking to sell their products abroad in a threat to rivals across Asia. Now, as the government cracks down on pollution and a glut of fuel at home, some traders who the refiners lured with an ambition to establish a global footprint are finding they have nothing to do. The processors, known as teapots, have been denied export licenses by the government, meaning they’ll have to remain home to compete with state-owned refining giants. That’s a relief for the wider Asian fuel market already overwhelmed by cheap supplies of Chinese gasoline and diesel, according to BMI Research. “We had specially hired […]

China’s Oil Giants Buoyed by Higher Prices as Output Stagnates

28 Apr 2017   China

Crude oil production falling as focus shifts to natural gas PetroChina swings to profit, Sinopec income more than doubles Oil’s recovery is helping ease the pain of shrinking output by China’s biggest energy producers. PetroChina Co. , the country’s largest producer, reported first quarter earnings swung to a profit thanks to the surge in prices, even as total output fell 6.3 percent from a year ago. China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. , the refining giant known as Sinopec, saw net income more than double while production dropped 2.4 percent. Along with Cnooc Ltd. , China’s biggest offshore explorer, the state-run firms are struggling to halt a drop in domestic crude output that’s pushed the country’s imports to a record, overtaking the U.S. as the world’s largest buyer. And as China’s big three raise combined spending for the first time in four years, the focus is beginning to shift to […]

Why Is China Funding Unsustainable Coal Projects In Pakistan?

28 Apr 2017   China, Coal, Pakistan

On April 16th, Chinese investments in Pakistan through the much-vaunted China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) were revised upwards, from $46 billion to a whopping $62 billion . The project, part of China’s ambitious Belt and Road initiative to invest in trade routes from Asia to Europe, has huge implications for Pakistan’s development prospects. As part of CPEC, Beijing plans to build new industrial parks, railways, and roads to link its Xinjiang region with Pakistan’s port city of Gwadar. But instead of giving cause for celebration, the colossal Chinese investments heading to Pakistan have sparked massive protests from locals and environmentalists. Why? Because of Beijing’s senseless decision to use part of the funds to build outdated coal power plants. Since Pakistan boasts more than 175 billion tonnes of coal (equal to Saudi Arabia’s oil deposits in terms of heating value), harnessing its energy reserves is crucial to ensure the country’s economic […]

China to boost non-fossil fuel use to 20 percent by 2030: state planner

25 Apr 2017   China

China aims for non-fossil fuels to account for about 20 percent of total energy consumption by 2030, increasing to more than half of demand by 2050, its state planner said on Tuesday, as Beijing continues its years-long shift away from coal power. In a policy document, the National Development and Reform Commission said carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions will peak by 2030 and total energy demand will be capped at 6 billion tons of standard coal equivalent by 2030. (Reporting by Josephine Mason; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)